For the Week Ending October 4, 2019

October 4, 2019

NPPC, AG GROUPS URGE USDA TO QUICKLY ESTABLISH FMD VACCINE BANK
On Tuesday, representatives of NPPC, the National Milk Producers Federation, the National Corn Growers Association and Iowa State University held a conference call with reporters and urged USDA to move as quickly as possible to establish a Foot-and-Mouth Disease (FMD) vaccine bank. The groups recognized the steps USDA has taken to establish the bank, but called for expedient use of mandatory funding included in the 2018 Farm Bill to purchase the volume of vaccines required to effectively contain and eradicate an FMD outbreak. Currently, the USDA, which has prescribed vaccination for dealing with an FMD outbreak, does not have access to enough vaccine to avoid devastating economic consequences to the U.S. economy, should an outbreak occur. According to Iowa State University research, an outbreak would result in $128 billion in losses for the beef and pork sectors, $44 billion and $25 billion, respectively, to the corn and soybean farmers, and job losses of more than 1.5 million across U.S. agriculture over 10 years. “U.S. pork producers and other farmers are currently faced with a wide range of challenges, including export market uncertainties, flooding and other weather events,” said NPPC Chief Veterinarian Liz Wagstrom. “Unlike challenges beyond our control, a solution for FMD preparedness is in our grasp. We urge USDA to move as quickly as possible to establish the bank.” To view a full copy of the joint press release, click here.


NPPC SEEKS PERMANENT REMOVAL OF PUNITIVE TARIFFS ON U.S. PORK
Chinese state media are reporting that China is making purchases of U.S. pork and currently excluding it from the application of retaliatory tariffs. NPPC welcomes these reports, but seeks permanent removal of punitive tariffs to address China’s unique pork supply need. With African swine fever dramatically reducing domestic production, the United States is well positioned to meet China’s need for safe, nutritious and affordable pork and to manage an emerging food price inflation challenge. In doing so, U.S. pork can single handedly put a huge dent in the United States’ trade imbalance with China. Chinese Vice Premier Liu He will travel to Washington, D.C. this month for continued negotiations with U.S. officials.


USMCA CONGRESSIONAL NEGOTIATIONS CONTINUE
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told reporters this week that progress is being made towards Congressional ratification of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada (USMCA) trade agreement, but provided no specifics on when a vote may take place. “We are making progress on the U.S.-Mexico-Canada trade agreement,” she said. “When we can arrive at a place where not only do we have our issues addressed, but that we have enforceability that will make it real for America’s families and farmers, then we can go down that path.” NPPC urges Congress to quickly ratify USMCA, to allow the U.S. pork industry to maintain zero-duty market access to two of its largest export markets.


U.S. PLACES TARIFFS ON EU GOODS, INCLUDING PORK
The U.S. Trade Representative announced on Wednesday that the U.S. will place punitive tariffs on approximately $7.5 billion worth of European goods, including pork, later this month. The World Trade Organization authorized the U.S. to impose the duties because of the European Union’s failure to end loan subsidies for Airbus. According to USTR, the tariff on European Union pork will be 25 percent and will begin on Oct. 18. “We expect to enter into negotiations with the European Union aimed at resolving this issue in a way that will benefit American workers,” said U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer.